Los Altos Hills, CA- Eighteen associates graduated from the Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS) Leadership Formation program on January 12 at De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello. Graduates represented the two Southern California hospitals sponsored by the Daughters of Charity – St. Francis Medical Center, Lynwood and St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles. The 18-month program develops leaders who are able to translate into action the heritage, Catholic identity, Mission and values passed down from the founders of the Daughters of Charity, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
“The program was created to form a community of leaders with a common understanding of the Vincentian charism and provide them with the tools for developing and expressing spirituality,” offers Sr. Carol Padilla, DC, vice president, Mission Integration for DCHS. “We also prepare leaders to mentor others as leaders in Catholic Vincentian health care.” Charism is considered a gift of grace bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Vincentian charism refers to the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul which are rooted in service and ministry to those living in poverty.
The Leadership Formation Program not only enlightens the participants, but enriches the entire organization as well. “Our associates who complete this course deepen their involvement with the Mission and values of DCHS,” says President and CEO Robert Issai. “Participants learn how to make ethical business decisions along with a basic understanding of ethical clinical decisions. These are critical skills to acquire in health care today.”
The graduates included DCHS associates from various departments such as finance, community outreach, infection prevention, diagnostic imaging, and emergency services. According to graduate Ceonne Houston-Raasikh, senior director of Patient Care Services at St. Francis Medical Center, the program enriched her commitment to the DCHS Mission. “I now understand the meaning behind Mission, not just on a surface level, but from within,” she offers. “Being mission-driven is seeing Christ in the poor. It is not something I have to do; it is what I want to do.”
Kelly Eckhardt, director, Employment & HR Services at St. Francis Medical Center, shares her new thoughts on leadership. “I now have a better understanding of the responsibility we have as leaders within a Catholic environment,” she explains. “Leadership is a gift. By being a Servant Leader, we can truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve by ensuring justice and equality.”
On January 20, 14 associates from Seton Medical Center, Daly City; O’Connor Hospital, San Jose; and Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Gilroy, graduated from the same Leadership Formation Program. All three Northern California hospitals are also sponsored by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.